J.E. Caldwell

An American Art Deco Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet

J.E. Caldwell

An American Art Deco Sapphire and Diamond Bracelet

Philadelphia, 1920s
Signed JEC&Co., numbered L240

Length: 179 mm
Width: 8 mm
 

Designed as three strands of loosely plaited ribbon, two strands millegrain-set with circular-cut diamonds, the last strand channel-set with calibré-cut sapphires, the galleries and clasp chased with laurel leaves and foliate scrolls.

James Emmott Caldwell (1813-81) founded his eponymous jewellers in the American city of Philadelphia, opening his first boutique on the city’s historic Chestnut Street in 1839. Caldwell had previously trained as a silversmith in New York City, and his firm initially specialised in silverware before expanding into jewellery.

Under the next generation of family leadership, J.E. Caldwell created superb jewels in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles, helping to shape the landscape of American jewellery design in the Gilded Age alongside their contemporaries Marcus & Co, Tiffany & Co and Raymond Yard.

This bracelet, dating from the 1920s, blends the delicate millegrain borders and chased foliate details of the opening decade of the 1900s with the newly developed calibré-cut stones that defined the geometric Art Deco style – literally weaving these two contrasting aesthetics together in an effortlessly elegant plaited design.

 

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